Ever since I was a little girl, I have put a lot of energy into repressing my girlie side. I scorned dresses and shoes. I refused to wear makeup that didn't look like it could naturally be there. I avoided necklaces, fingernail polish, and perfume. I mocked frills. I was baffled by accessories like decorative belts and matching purses.
Whenever the girl in me tried to make herself known, my overbearing tom-boy persona shunned her. It's frivolous to own anything that has no practical function, my tom-boy self always said whenever I was sidetracked by something pretty. My tom-boy self was always there to nag me whenever I was tempted to embrace my girlie side, and over time I began to equate girliness with silliness, frivolousness, and vanity, all things I did not want associated with me. I didn't want to become anything remotely close to what Barbie would approve of.
Things changed a little when I started a career. I had more time for primping and more money for things which only purpose was to be decorative. Slowly, the girl in me began to have more of a say in the "frivolous" decisions I made.
At my sister party a few weeks ago, I was drawn to a flippy skirt loaded with polka-dots. I have a strange obsession with polka-dots, so I bought the skirt, and everyone commented on how "me" it looked.
That Sunday I wore it to church, but the effect of the outfit was spoiled a bit by my comfortable, functional shoes. I found myself thinking, I wish I had some sexy shoes to complete this outfit. Never in my life had such a thought crossed my mind, but the thought lingered.
So today I stopped at a shoe store after work. And I found the perfect pair of shoes: Black. Manageable heels. Strappy things. As an added bonus, they were actually comfortable and I didn't feel like a flamingo walking in them, so I bought them.
As I was trying them on at home, another abominable thought crossed my mind: my feet would look really cute with painted toenails. Then I remembered the Mary Poppins spotlight bag I was given in Relief Society a year ago, which contained a fingernail kit, complete with bright red fingernail polish.
So I painted my virgin toenails a bright, sexy red while listening to Disney princess songs. I used the toe-separator things and felt like the evil lady from The Chipmunk Adventure.
And I liked the finished product. I really liked it.
Did I need another pair of Sunday shoes? No. Did I need to paint my toenails to enhance the effect of my shoes? Certainly not. But for once I felt proud to let the girlie side of me shine rather than shun her in embarrassment like I've always done.
The tom-boy will always be the dominant side of my personality, but I'm slowly coming to realize that it's okay to embrace being a girl, even if it means fingernail polish and high heels.